Weather The Weather or How We Make It Home Together’s title pretty aptly encapsulates the experience of the show. This is night-time outdoor theatre, in Canada, in December, and there is plenty of weathering the weather to be had.
Weather The Weather was “inspired by winter, the Canadian Shield and our indomitable compulsion to get home for the holidays”. Two siblings, Daga (Amy Lee) and Diwrnod (Kawa Ada) are trying to find their way home after being displaced by a storm. Diwrnod is captured by Igora (Lisa Karen Cox), a troll who controls the weather. The sister must save the brother… with some help from a magical prince (Courtenay Stevens) and their house gnome (Colin Doyle).
By Gian Verano
Taking place at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, the Impulse Festival – presented by Soulpepper – will be offering up four days of world-class improvisational comedy.
This year’s festival plays host to 8 troupes, hailing from 7 countries. They’ll be performing 16 shows, 15 workshops as well as Christmas at Choke-Poke Toys – a 55-hour improvised soap opera marathon.
And true to its name, the Impulse Festival will be a celebration of whatever thoughts and impulses come to the performers’ minds.
This intricate adaptation of the famous novel, The Tin Drum, is brought to life at Toronto’s Aki Studio Theatre
The Tin Drum, playing at the Aki Studio Theatre, is based on the famous novel of the same name by Günter Grass and follows the story of Oskar Matzarath. Oskar is born in the city of Danzig (now Gdańsk) in the 1920’s and immediately has the preternatural self-awareness to realize that life is safer, easier and more comfortable as a child. He wills himself to stop growing after the age of three. Read the rest of this entry »
By George Perry
Repetitive Strain Injury, a story about a young couple before their wedding, is playing at Factory Theatre
Repetitive Strain Injury, the story of a young couple on the verge of marriage, is the first production of Company Kid Logic. Toronto’s Factory Theatre Studio hosts the coming-out party for this uber-talented company. For over 40 years, Factory has been “Home of the Canadian playwright” and a breeding ground for great, young Canadian talent. Repetitive Strain Injury certainly follows in that tradition.
Written by Rob van Meenen, the play impressively arose from a blank slate during a 24-hour playwriting contest. It doesn’t touch on the human condition as much as it embraces it. Repetitive Strain Injury is a coming of age piece that almost any adult can relate to, regardless of age.
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There are plenty of laughs to be had in theatre this week. With Soulpepper’s Impulse Festival beginning December 12 along with a number of other hysterical holiday themed improv and comedy opening this week, you’re bound to find something to defeat the winter blahs and tickle your funny bone.
Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of December 9th, 2013. ** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Wayne, our Managing Editor, wish he could exist in multiple parallel universes so he could check them all out.
By Mara Gulens
Witty Toronto references fill this version of The Little Mermaid, a fun play for the family, at the Elgin Theatre
Of the dozens of references to contemporary culture in Ross Petty Productions’ pantomime The Little Mermaid, my 12-year-old theatre companion got all but one. Indeed, I explained “the vibrating thing in the handbag” to her.
But it was me who repeatedly leaned over to ask her who was the original singer of some hit song or where a funny quote came from. “Ontario’s O-fish-al family Musical!” is so smack-dab 2013 that you might need a junior translator to get it.
Fortunately, The Little Mermaid is just as thick with allusions to current day Toronto politics that adults have enough to keep them busy. It also features a stellar cast that makes for no regrets that you’re not up the street at the other “Dalt Wisney” production.
Beautiful dance brings the story of Adam and Eve to life in Paradise Lost playing at Toronto’s Fleck Theatre
There is something quite extraordinary happening at Harbourfront Centre’s Fleck Dance Theatre. The Janak Khendry Dance Company’s production of John Milton’s Paradise Lost is masterfully executed and utterly captivating. I have never read Milton’s epic classic, nor am I particularly interested in dance, so I was amazed at how firmly this show held me in its grip.
Paradise Lost tells biblical story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The story, I’m sure you know, goes something like this: Satan, having been banished from Heaven, uses his powers of seduction to fool Eve into eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. She then convinces Adam to do the same. The two are deeply ashamed, clothe themselves to hide their nakedness, and are cast out of paradise. The story is embedded in our collective psyche. Read the rest of this entry »
Spelling Bee is a funny reminder of middle-school awkwardness playing at Toronto’s Randolph Theatre
Full disclosure: Spelling Bee (playing at the Annex Theatre) is one of my favourite shows. Everything about it–the affectionate parody of middle-school awkwardness, the cringe-inducing audience participation, the surprising depth–hits the right buttons. Clever, but not dickish; emotional, but not melodramatic.
Set in a suburban gymnatorium, nine spellers (including several audience volunteers), each having conquered their own school’s competition, have advanced to the county final. The winner of today’s bee will move onto Washington’s national championship. The stakes are high, and as the spellers get picked off one at a time, we get brief glimpses into their worlds: Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, who wants nothing more than to make her two moms proud; Leaf Coneybear, trying to prove himself good at anything; William Barfée, whose only friend is the dictionary.
What makes this show unique is how readily it mixes the frivolous with the serious, and how wholeheartedly it embraces both extremes. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry” is a tremendous cliché, but yes: an audience member did, in fact, piss herself laughing.
And, yes: moments later, several people were daintily rubbing the tears from their eyes.
What a show, eh?
This moving solo performance honoring an ailing parent is playing at Toronto’s Videofag
The Girl In The Picture Tries To Hang Up The Phone is a solo show written and performed by Hume Baugh at Videofag. It is the journey Baugh takes to celebrate his mother’s life, to understand who she was and to heal from the pain of losing her.
The performance begins with Baugh presenting a photo projection. It’s a black-and-white shot of a group of people mid-action while a young girl looks into the camera. This is the performer’s mother. Baugh then calls for a sound cue. It is the muffled sound of of somebody fumbling to hang up an analogue phone. These two cues, Baugh explains, represent the poles of life. Read the rest of this entry »